YOU ARE STRONG
What are some of your favorite ways to get some exercise?
We’re discussing a series called “New Year. New You.” And, it’s all about “Strengthening your core for a healthier life” meaning your spiritual core, your Identity in Christ. Today we’re talking about the principle “You Are Strong.”
REVIEW & DISCUSS
What makes someone strong? If you were to describe someone as being strong, what could this be in reference to?
Throughout history, humanity typically has looked down on those who are ‘weak’. But according to Paul, his weaknesses were actually something to boast about. Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-10. A couple of things to note about this text:
Rather than boasting about all the things he has accomplished, Paul boasts about his weaknesses. Even in talking about his vision (v3-5), he points to this being useless. Why do you think he did this? What would he stand to lose if he affirmed his apostleship by sharing all the things he has done or experienced?
Paul had viewed his “thorn in his flesh” as a means to keep him from becoming conceited. And later he claims that he even delights in his weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, difficulties. Why do you think he might have become conceited? What does his view of his thorn or weaknesses tell you about how he sees his life experiences?
We are not only comforted from the “thorn” in our flesh, but we are told that Christ’s power is made perfect in our weakness. Paul is inviting us to put our trust in Christ who makes us strong in our weakness by the power of His Spirit. Read John 16:12-13, Acts 1:8, and Ephesians 1:13-14. What do these passages promise us about the power of the Holy Spirit in our life?
What do you find to be the hardest part of navigating times when you experience suffering or extreme situations that stretch and test you? How does having a similar mindset like Paul help you navigate these situations?
Pauls declares in v10 that when we are weak, then we are actually strong. How are we made strong? What is Paul trying to tell his audience through what feels like an oxymoron?
When do you struggle to rely on the Holy Spirit? How can you remind yourself this week to be intentionally mindful of the Spirit’s power in you?
First, take some time to ask people to identify prayer needs related to the discussion about encouraging one another. Second, take some time to ask for additional prayer requests. Then close your time together in prayer.
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